The battle for e-commerce business

The battle for e-commerce business

The battle for e-commerce business has been run and won, and the result is US global domination, according to visiting US-based analyst Vernon Keenan, who, until recently, was from Zona Research.

Keenan, who has just launched his own com-pany, Keenan Vision, projects that by 2002 around $US300 billion in transactions will be done via e-commerce, with around 10 per cent in foreign trade.

"This will have a significant impact on the balance of payments towards the US," he said. "As all the e-commerce entities and transaction sites are based in the US, it gives us the opportunity for global domination."

Threat to IT channel

"I see this as a threat to the IT channel for all English speaking countries - Australia, Canada, the UK, everywhere e-commerce is touted."

Keenan was in Australia as a guest of Sybase, speaking to developers and resellers about the opportunities open to them in e-commerce and on the Internet generally.

Where's the opportunity for redemption?

Keenan claims the opportunity for developers and resellers is to be the middlemen of the Asia-Pacific through innovative use of e-commerce technology.

"The channel needs to leverage the US technology, create its own critical mass, and be service providers to the e-commerce market," he said.

Keenan argues the bottom line for the channel is that in small gross margin industries, savings in procurement costs have a major impact.

"IT managers can be heroes to their companies' shareholders. These business processes are among the last great unwashed areas of automation," he said.

So what does the Australian channel itself think of Keenan's comments?

Tony Tayler, managing director of network systems integrator Sysygy Computer Networks, claims the opportunities for Australian developers and VARs to participate in the establishment of the electronic commerce infrastructure are only limited by their creativity and passion.

"There's no reason why we couldn't have a Mincom of e-commerce," he said.

And Simon Maxwell, managing director of integrated messaging product value-added distributor Information Gateways, is also taking Keenan's comments with a grain of salt.

"Everyone from the US seems to have a US-centric view of the world, but everyone will have a part to play in e-commerce, just like they do in messaging," he said.

"I've just returned from a trip to Europe, and it is nowhere near as US obsessed as we seem to be here."

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